THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 10-12-08
LESSON TITLE: "GOD IS FOR ME: GOD IS PATIENT AND KIND"
Let me welcome each of you to our program on this wondrous Lord's Day morning. I hope all of you are well and that you are prospering greatly, in your physical lives according to what you are giving to God spiritually. It is wonderful to be a part of God's family and to have opportunities such as this to come before Him and learn more about what He wants of us, as well as praising His name through song. As we begin our homage to God this morning, won't you bow with me in prayer?
I would like to take just a moment this morning and remind you about the television taping of song for the Living Word program, which will take place this afternoon, beginning at 2:00. What a great opportunity and privilege this will be to sing songs of praise to God and to record them to be used on this program, thus proclaiming the Word of God to this area. We hope to see many of you at our facility located at 2540 North Kansas Expressway in Springfield, Missouri. I hope you'll plan to join us, see you there!
It's now time to join in with the brethren as we begin our songs of praise to God. Please participate with the congregation as we sing together our first hymn of the day, it's name, "To Christ Be Loyal And Be True!"
(SONG # 1)
In Psalms 50:15, David said, "Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me." What great words we have recorded here by the Psalmist. Think of all the encouragement we gain from this type of promise. What do we learn in this verse about our almighty God?
First, God said we can call upon Him when we are in trouble. How wonderful it is to know that our God is always there for us no matter what our need is. Even in trouble, as the verse says, we can call on Him and He is there. Now the only problem is, many of us are guilty of only calling on the Lord when the troubles come. We often forget God when things are going well.
Isn't it great to know that God is always there and He hears us as His followers? John understood this when He said, "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us," 1 John 5:14. In the next verse, He goes on to say, "And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him." Praise God for this promise - He hears us, and gives us what we ask for, according to His will.
So what else will God do when we call on Him? Well, the verse we read earlier from David goes on to say He will deliver us! This is the same lesson we find taught throughout the New Testament. In fact, Paul said, "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." 1 Corinthians 10:13. Yes, our God is great!
Finally, notice what happens when we call on Him and He delivers us - We glorify Him! What a beautiful outcome to doing what God asks us to. When we rely on Him and receive His help it brings glory to Him, from us and those who see His wondrous power.
What about you this morning, do you depend on God when you need some help? Well, the good news is that you can and He will care for you as He has promised. And then, as we have seen, to God be the glory!
This morning, I will be leading our lesson thoughts as we continue our study together on; "God Is For Me." Our specific lesson of the day is entitled, "God Is Patient And Kind ." So stay with us and after our next song together we will return with this study from God's Word. Now let's return to our songs of praise. The name of the next hymn, "O To Be Like Thee."
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
We're so glad you've continued with us today as we now go to God's Word and consider another great lesson about what God is for each and every one of us. Certainly we've learned a lot already about the wonderful character and the nature of God and how that He certainly is so gracious and wonderful and merciful, all-powerful, all knowing, everywhere and on and on and on we could go. That's what we're going to continue to look at for at least another month or so and understanding what God really is for us.
As far as our topic today, probably one of the best passages that I found that covers what we will discuss is found in the great love chapter of 1 Corinthians 13. You might recall there in verse 4 where it actually says, "Love is longsuffering and is kind." Those are the two ideas that we want to look at today. Love suffers long and love is kind. But as we know, God is love. We find that out in 1 John. In fact, there in chapter 3 and other places throughout that book, we find that God is love. Next week, we'll look at that even more specifically. But today, consider a God of love who does what? Who is longsuffering and who is kind. And so God then is longsuffering and God is kind.
As we go to the Bible, we find a lot of ideas then about these two concepts. We'll first begin with kindness because I think it is the most simple of the two ideas and most certainly understand that a good, loving, caring, merciful God is also a kind God.
If we were to understand the definition of kindness, the dictionary might describe it as this: "A sympathetic, a forbearing and a pleasant nature."
One religious definition that I found said this: "A steadfast love that maintains relationships through gracious aid in times of need."
Both of these show us something that's important about kindness because it deals and assists people in needs. It deals and assists people in good times of life, and to be kind is just simply a character that often in our day and time is not seen as much as it should be. Have you ever met or known someone who is just so kind that you even wonder how could that person be that good or how could they be that nice or how could they be that kind? Everything you do or say it is always that they handle themselves right and they act in the right way. Well that's the idea of God here. God is always kind. He is ultimately kind in every way to the fullest extent. Therefore, we can have great confidence in Him.
The Bible is full of passages that help us to understand just how kind our God is and how that kindness is applied to man. For instance, there in Psalm 117 and verse 2 the Bible says, "For His merciful kindness is great toward us." It is neat that it ties in the idea of mercy. That's almost that concept of grace or looking at someone's needs again and saying, "How can I make them better or forgive or help?" "His merciful kindness," it says, "is great toward us."
In Psalm 119 and then verse 76, we find a similar statement being made that there in verse 76 the Bible says, "Let I pray, your merciful kindness be for my comfort." Here twice David uses this same idea stating that kindness is something that does what? That comforts me. That is extended to us by God. In what way? In so many ways as we will look at in just a moment that we might be those who understand that God's kindness is perfect.
In fact, Isaiah in Isaiah chapter 54 and verse 8 said that, "God's kindness was everlasting." Imagine that. It is something that will never end and we know that because God has said that not only will we live in this life and be blessed by Him but we'll be blessed eternally in Heaven with a mansion. So there we have that eternal kindness from a merciful God. So I really love this idea as we continue to see this idea of being kind to others tied in with mercy and grace and again it overall demonstrates just how much God loves us as His creation for He always wants that which is best and so therefore He is always going to extend to us kindness which is for our advantage and for our assistance and for our help that we might receive what we have need of.
As we continue to look at this idea we might move into the New Testament. There again we find many passages that deal with the concept of a kind God and then our need to be kind as well.
In 2 Corinthians chapter 6 you might note there with me that this is a passage where Paul talks about the ministries of a child of God, those things that we do to administer and to assist and to help others. It actually begins there if you'll notice around verse 3 talking about a lot of different ideas and things, but then it begins in verse 4 to talk about as ministers of God that we need what? "Much patience, much tribulation, much ability to see needs and distress," he says, "in strife, in imprisonment's." If you go on there in verse 5, "In tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fasting." Verse 6 though notice with me for he goes on to say, "But by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit and by sincere love." On in verse 7, "By the Word of Truth, by the power of God, the armor of righteousness, on the right hand and on the left." And so he goes on to really establish for us those principles, those characteristics that in and of themselves are godly. They are characteristics that Christ demonstrated for us, but they are things now as ministers of God that we strive for. And amongst them you might notice kindness. Now we're going to look at the longsuffering nature there in just a moment and you might notice also the idea of longsuffering was here amongst this same list.
If we were to go to Galatians chapter 5, the familiar passage there, we find once again within that passage this concept of what is referred to as "The Fruit of the Spirit," those things which show forth Christ, those actions and attitudes. There in chapter 5 then we would notice amongst those things, verse 22, is what? Kindness. Guess what is before kindness again. That longsuffering nature or love that suffers long. And so here again, this kindness, to do that which benefits another, which assists, which helps, that forbearance as we read that is really trying to accomplish the best not only for ourselves, but for our fellow man.
And then we might also notice there in what Paul calls in Colossians 3 beginning in verse 12, "the elect of God." No doubt again what do we find amongst the list of things that one must have and act on and really show forth as a child or the elect of God. Guess what. Kindness! And again this idea of being longsuffering.
Again to Titus chapter 3 and verse 4 we begin to see the application because there as he mentions this idea of God's kindness, he says, "It is seen in and through God by the Son Jesus as He offers (what?) salvation." God was so kind that not only has He done what He did in the past, not only has He provided everything that I have need of, not only has He created me, not only has he provided opportunities of the future, an eternal life, He is so kind that He allowed His Son to come and die for each and every one of us that we might have forgiveness of sin and that we might be called the elect, that we might be called those of the spirit, that we might be called children of God, Christians.
Now the other idea is this concept as we have talked about of love being longsuffering. The wording in some translations turns it around and says, "suffers long." If we think about that certainly it is easy to understand because we find there that love is willing to endure something, to suffer in a lengthy way. In other words, it puts up with a lot. You know, how often do we get fed up and we say, "I'm sick of that and if they do that again..." or, "I'm never going to forgive them." We have an attitude that is not longsuffering. We have an attitude that does not suffer long, but really that often gives up too soon.
We learn that our God is a longsuffering God. He declares it Himself to Moses as He showed Moses His glory. Then we hear what He proclaimed in Exodus chapter 34 as He said to Moses that He was "a longsuffering God." It is the same thing that is quoted there in the book of Numbers chapter 14 and verse 18 when the spies have rejected there the fact of going into Canaan, all but two that is Joshua and Caleb and they are declaring again who is this God who now is going to punish those because they have not had faith to act on what He had asked them to do. There again He is proclaimed as what? A merciful and longsuffering God.
David speaks of this nature of God in Psalm 86:15 when he says that, "Our God is a longsuffering God," and we see it applied in the life of David when David made mistakes and sinned and God was always there waiting to do what? Forgive and accept. We see it in the life and the work and the history of Israel that as time and time again they turned away from God and God would punish them, but when their hearts were moved and they cried out to God, He would hear them and return and help them. One moment we see they were hot and the next moment they were cold in their service to God, but yet God was always there and was longsuffering. Therefore, forgiving and willing to say, "I overlook your iniquities if you'll but repent and correct and do what is right to set things in order."
Our God is further seen as a longsuffering God in many aspects like we look at there in Galatians chapter 5, as we looked at from Paul there in Corinthians and we saw these lists of characteristics that included kindness and longsuffering natures. We see also there in the book of Peter among the Christians Virtues guess what! Things such as kindness, things such as patience or that ability to be longsuffering, to endure patiently through a situation or with someone who might not be perfect. Guess what! We are not perfect either and so we must be more longsuffering and kind, willing to accept and forgive others even in their flaws when they repent.
In the book there of 2 Peter chapter 3 and verse 9 we learn how "God is not slack concerning His promises as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us not willing that any should perish but that all should come to eternal life." God's longsuffering nature allows Him time and time again to overlook the sinful man and to forgive that part of man and to look to the new creature and to be willing to set aside sin even in a wicked world. Aren't you thankful for that? Aren't you thankful for that longsuffering nature, for if it were not there, guess what. You and I would be in great trouble. If God was not kind and longsuffering, we would not have had the chance that we've had. We would not have the hope that we have, and God would not have provided salvation as He has provided it to us. But because of His longsuffering nature, His patience and merciful willingness to wait and endure with us although we mess up and make mistakes and we sin. His willingness to forgive time and time again is that longsuffering nature that allows me to know confidently that I am saved and to know that I have a reward in Heaven.
We also see Paul encouraging Timothy and trying to challenge him to understand that he was one who also should have this nature. As Jesus showed the ability to be longsuffering, we also find there that we ought to be longsuffering. Multiple times throughout both letters in 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy, we find these concepts. But there specifically in 2 Timothy chapter 4 and verse 2, he says, "Preach the Word. Evangelize with it. Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort and (guess what) with all longsuffering and teaching."
How many times have we tried to teach somebody else and we get impatient and say, "Why can't they understand or what is taking so long?" Patience! Patience that endures. Patience that puts up with. Patience in 1 Corinthians 13 that "endures all things," that puts up with all things, that continues to give someone the benefit of the doubt. That is the nature of God, my brethren and friends, and that is the nature that we must strive for if we are to be what God wants us to.
So will you not accept that challenge to imitate God, to become a child by confessing His name, repenting and turning from sin, and being baptized, therefore added to the church and then assisted by God to be kind, imitating that kindness, assisted by God to be a longsuffering servant as God is longsuffering? If we do these things, we know the reward is ours and a place is made ready in Heaven for each of us.
(SONG # 3 - "My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less!")
Thanks for putting God first and choosing to be with us this morning. I hope you have benefited from our time together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this offering for God.
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How wonderful it is to have such a longsuffering and kind God. May we each learn to imitate these fine qualities that we might glorify God and be found pleasing in His sight in all things.